Monday, December 13, 2010

Regifting

I cannot walk in your shoes. I cannot know the thoughts in your mind, the history that follows you. I cannot reach back to that day you were born, share the joys and losses you have experienced since. I cannot know your hurt, your healing.

I cannot walk in your shoes. I cannot judge you for I do not know you. I cannot understand your thought process, your conclusions. I cannot understand your hunger or your pain. I do not know what it is to be rich or to be homeless. I have not lived in a war-torn country. I have not lived on a boat, on a mountain, in a cave. I do not know you. I cannot walk in your shoes.

The wipers beat a steady 'swish, swish'. The light was still red. 'Swish, swish'. "I cannot walk in your shoes." The words resonated over and over in my waiting brain. With each swish, the words came again. "I cannot walk in your shoes."

"Pam, you need to write about this," my damp brain told me. So here I am.

There are many quotes about walking in shoes, following behind to see where someone else has been, learning about others without judgment.

I cannot walk in your shoes. I do not know you. I cannot know your life. I have no right to judge. I cannot even totally understand those I love, my children, my grandchildren.

This is a season of giving. Maybe it's a season of forgiving. Sometimes it's not easy to toss aside a flair of anger or a unsolicited comment. Sometimes it's hard to let go of preconceived notions., beliefs. Through the eyes of a child. Listening in new ways. Embracing a world of faces and ideas that might be alien to what we know and accept.

The light finally turned green, and I was first to go. "I cannot walk in your shoes."

So I write. So I share. So I open myself up to new thoughts that might challenge, might just enlighten and most definitely delight.

I cannot walk in your shoes, but I can love with a love that is free, unhindered by judgment and one that can be regifted. If everyone could take just one day to love everyone they meet, the world would change. One day could make a lifetime of anger disappear and the red light turned green.

I cannot walk in your shoes, but I can give you the gift of love.

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